Double Din Navigation

This article is written by Pon Saravanan  on 25-Oct-09 Last modified on :21-Aug-11

In Dash Gps Double Din Navigation

This article is not about how In Dash Gps Navigation works, however this article is to explain how to Integrate In Dash Gps Navigation functionality in CAR PC. Due to increasing popularity of Double Din Gadgets, all in one devices are expected to rule this niche. So a complete PC will be a right choice for In Car Entertainment. Even without a PC a complete solution integrated with navigation, audio player, video player, touch controler to control all the above will be a good choice.

Double Din Navigation in a PC

I have used both external GPS Navigation device and my own Car PC integrated with GPS receiver. I am very much inclined towards running a navigation along with other applications  in a PC.  However installing a PC in a harsh enviroment such as car, boat needs great enthusiasm. If you are not that type, this installation will drive you mad. So keep that in mind when choosing this way. I had several problems while installing this device. The knowledge required to install firmly and fine tune the system is rather a tedius and time consuming task.

The reason behind is

• You don’t need to obstruct your vision by putting it in the wind screen.
• Screen real estate is big and wide (7” wide screen ).
• It does not take any additional space in the dashboard.
• The GPS external receiver can be placed anywhere (I placed near in the rear window)
• Updating maps are really easy.
• GPS navigation software can be chosen as per your requirements (as long as it is running in your OS)
• You can install as many navigation softwares you like (make sure only one is running at any point of time)
• Cost effective(pay for software, maps, external receiver) remember you are going to view your maps in  7” screen

GPS Map and Software for Double Din Navigation

If you don’t have recently updated maps where you are driving to, it is not going to be that much useful. But if you have recently updated maps, you feel how easy it is to drive without knowing much about the destination. I am from Singapore, and I enjoy GPS when driving Malaysia as well. I have an option of choosing maps from two providers in Singapore. Both the maps are very frequently updated with nice graphical presentations.

Satellites and GPS Receiver

Receiver needs atleast few GPS satellites available for receiving enough signals to lock. The GPS receiver needs to pick up just a few of them to get a position. Basically the receiver will have few channels though which the signals will be received. More physical channels will give faster locking. Because of parallel execution, more the physical channels higher the possibility of locking in a low signal area. There are also two standards of receiver, NMEA and SiRF. I am using SiRF III and locking is very instant.

External GPS Receiver

We have few options for selecting GPS receiver, one is USB (known as mouse GPS also) and the other is Bluetooth. The selection between them will not affect noticeable performance.
I am using USB receiver from which I purchased online. And it shipped in a week’s time. I feel it is excellent and working fine with Double Din Navigation.
GPS antenna works similar to the Satellite TV channel dish antenna. If you place the antenna where it can not see the sky, it is impossible to get signal for channels. So remember to place the GPS receiver where it can see the satellites. Don’t put the Receiver in the hidden areas, place like arm rest or dashboard glove box. I have put the GPS device beside the rear seat visible through rear window. 

Routing GPS Signals to navigate the map

GPS only gives the current location of receiver in co-ordinates. Distance is measured by calculating the amount of time it takes for a signal to travel from a receiver to a satellite. By measuring the distance of the receiver from three or four satellites, the coordinates of a receiver on Earth can be pinpointed within a few meters of exact location.

In order to navigate turn by turn using Double Din Navigation, we need GPS software which takes current location co ordinates and instruct the maps to rotate or move to navigate.

All in one Units

Now a days there are lot of Double Din Navigation devices available in the online stores for you to buy, when buying please remember to check about the functionalities you will be using. I am explaining few of the functionalizes below

Consider the following for navigation section

1)please check whether the device supports 3D View or Birds View
2) which gps receiver it is using for example SIRF III is the best one when the time of initiating this article.
3) Routing the alternative routes when you missed a turn or driven a wrong direction.

Consider the following for audio player section

1) Check the possibility of formats that the player can handle like MP3, MP4, Audio CD formats.
2) Internal storage options, how much data can be stored internally normally measured in Giga Bytes like 50GB, 100GB.
3) And connectivity with external storage such as SD card, Thumb Drive using USB
4) Aux In support or docking the compact music players
5) the power output of the amplifier normally measured in Watts.
6) Ability to adjust/correct the frequencies like graphic equalizers, crossover networks
7) Supported surround formats like Dolby digital, 5.1 surround

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    A 2/17/2011 8:08:25 AM

    hi, i am quite keen to know abt the way how u integrate ur usb gps receiver to ur double din player? Do u mean this integration is just 'plug n play' job?
    2/23/2011 3:37:50 AM

  • pons
    I was using Car PC for driving the navigation so using the right driver along with the GPS receiver will do the job 2/23/2011 5:07:28 AM

    are u refering ur HU as Car PC? my problem here is, my car's HU did not come with GPS receiver, so i wondering i can slot in the software like garmin or igo8 n use USB gps receiver for navigation?? 2/23/2011 6:14:53 AM

  • pons
    Yes I am reffering to my system, That is based on Car PC,

    No, you cant just use the navigation software in the double din navigation's firmware. If your double din HU does not support the navigaition then you may try for the garmin's gps devices.
    For e.g
    Buy Garmin Nuvi 205w
    2/23/2011 7:15:24 AM

    i perfer to hv all in one...maybe i shld just buy a external add on navi box...anyway, many thanks for wat u have answered.. 2/23/2011 8:03:06 AM

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